The discovery of a small homemade bomb intended for the parade route of a gay rights march has heightened tensions in the holy city of Jerusalem.

The parade has now finished, with 18 people arrested for attempting to disrupt the event.

There have been small violent incidents across the city in protest at the gay Pride, which Orthodox Jews regard as unbiblical and unsuitable.

More than 130 religious protesters have been arrested in the past few days.

Earlier today the Israeli Supreme Court rejected last-minute petitions against the Pride event.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that around 2,000 marchers were taking part in Pride. He told AP:

“Police stopped a 32-year-old religious Jew who was carrying a homemade explosive device.”

The Jerusalem Post reports that three quarters of the city’s residents oppose the Pride parade.

In April an explosive device detonated near Jerusalem was thought to be the work of ultra-Orthodox Jews protesting against the Pride event.

The small pipe bomb exploded near the West Bank separation fence.

One person suffered a minor leg injury and was taken to a hospital in Jerusalem.

Security forces investigating the scene reported the discovery of leaflets that call for the cancellation of the parade.

Earlier this month rabbis from the Eda Haredit sect made a statement condemning gay events.

At the 2005 Pride in Jerusalem a member of the sect stabbed three of the participants.

“To all those involved, sinners in spirit, and whoever helps and protects them, may they feel a curse on their souls, may it plague them and may evil pursue them; they will not be requitted of their transgressions from heavenly judgment,” their message read.